Category Archives: Voices

We’ve Got Spirit!

Sep 23, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

This past Saturday was the first home football game of the season. There were numerous flyers around campus advertising a new student section and a guaranteed good time. The game started at noon with the National Anthem being sung by the Utica College Choir.

The game was against Frostburg, a college in Maryland, with Utica coming out triumphant. The last minute of the game was filled with screaming fans and clapping as people cheered on the football players to victory.

(The choir singing at a hockey game my freshman year.)

If football isn’t your thing, then Utica College is home to multiple sports which suit anyone’s needs – player wise and spectator wise. Most sports are played right here on campus. The hockey games, which are played at the Utica Auditorium, have shuttles that take students to and from the game. Go to the sports website and check out when a game you want to see is!

(I got a picture with Trax my freshman year at an event.)

At the various sporting events you attend, you’ll probably run into the Utica College mascot, “Trax.” He’s always up for pictures, so go find him! Once, at a hockey game, I even caught a free shirt that Trax was throwing!

(My friend Elaine and I at the  football game this weekend, reppin' UC swag.)

(My friend Elaine and I at the football game this weekend, reppin’ UC swag.)

You don’t have to be super into the sport; sometimes it is just fun to go and people watch. Also, going to a game ensures that you can eat concession food and just soak up the atmosphere.  They always play songs in between quarters, so go grab some nachos and dance along!

Games are a great atmosphere and are a way to show your pride for your school. Wear your school apparel, grab your friends and get ready to cheer on your fellow Pioneers.

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Never Stand Still

Sep 23, 2014 | Author: Elaine Paravati

Hey guys! I hope everyone had a great week! I’ve definitely been busy here at Utica College. If you’re not finding yourself involved on campus yet, here are some puzzle pieces you could add to your life to make your experience at UC better:

- Organizations are really coming out in full force with hosting events. Many are free, like Sex Ed Boot Camp that the Womyn’s Resource Center hosted last Monday night. Others may require a fee, such as the RHA and SIA Paintball Explosion on Oct 5. It  requires $20 to participate, but you get gear, paint, a paintball gun, and transportation to and from the event.

- If you’re looking for something later at night, UCPB’s Thursday night pub entertainment is always a great bet.

- If your schedule is clear earlier in the day, you can likely find something still happening on campus, like the Student Senate representative election speeches. They are delivered Wednesday afternoon in Strebel.

- Regardless of how much you are looking to spend or what time you are free, check out the flyers on campus- you will surely be able to find something to attend!

-If you love an event and want to support it even more, consider joining the organization who hosted it. Our campus has a large variety of groups.

- You can find academic orgs, like the Psychological Society and the ASA Gray Biological Society. Both are open to students of all majors but focus on events within their own respective majors.

- There are also groups with common goals, like the Residence Hall Association that aims to better the lives of students via events and improvements in the residence halls.

Greek life is also a great opportunity to get to know other students and get involved on campus. No matter what you’re looking for, there’s a group for you on campus. And if there isn’t, you can make your own organization with four other friends and an adviser!

-If you don’t want to join a group or attend an event, but still want to feel involved on campus, then get out of your room and mingle!

Sit outside of the library at a table on the terrace and people-watch. 

-Go out into the residential quad and toss a frisbee around.

-Relax in the Pioneer Cafe with some friends and some curly fries.

-Attend a sporting event and show your UC pride by wearing orange.

Some of the best memories you will have on campus are those spontaneous moments you spent exploring your new home. The year will fly by before you know it, so enjoy every minute and never stand still!

What Gets You Through College?

Sep 23, 2014 | Author: Michael Defone

My first year at college was a difficult one to say the least. I joined a fraternity and acquired a 1.6 GPA. I entered into my first serious relationship. But the worst part of it all, I took school for granted.

I believe that there are four keys to success in college: be good at what you do, have a good support system, get involved, and try new things.

Be Good at What You Do!

I am a junior now, and school is all that matters to me. One of my teachers sophomore year said to me, “If a kid and you roll up into an interview and he got an A+ in microeconomics, and you got a B+, it doesn’t matter to your future. As long as you are the better fit, it doesn’t matter how many A’s you got; you will get the job. Be great at what you do.”

Ever since then, I have lived by that saying. I have spent less time memorizing, and more actually learning my profession. I don’t think of it as school anymore; it’s the tool that’s going to help me do what I love for the rest of my life. It’s funny how simple words, like those of my professor’s, can change a student’s perspective on college.

Have A Good Support System

Another role model that helped me along the way was a fellow UC blogger, Tessa Lamper. Remember when I said I entered my first serious relationship freshman year? Well two years later she still pushes me every day to make sure everything I need done is done.

Every day, she’s always checking up on me and making sure I did this or did that. It’s almost as if she knows my schedule better than me. To get through college, you need someone in your corner like that. Someone who will (no matter what) step in the line of fire and sacrifice time out of their day to make sure you know your stuff for the test the next day.

It doesn’t have to be a girlfriend or a boyfriend. It can be your mom, dad, brother, sister, grandma, grandpa, or anyone who loves you and would do anything to watch you succeed.

Get Involved!

I got involved with Alpha Phi Delta, a national fraternity on campus, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made since I’ve been at Utica. I pledged Spring 2013 with Michael Alecia, Joshua Sommers, and David Vanuaker. We were the biggest pledge class since our re-founding, and I have had the greatest times with those three guys.

I can remember we would sit for hours and just chill with each other and tell stupid stories. One of my best memories with those guys was making our paddles together. We would spend hours on a wooden paddle. I bet if you asked each and every one of them if they would pledge again, their answers would be the same as mine – only if I was with my pledge bros.

The bond I have with those guys is a bond I will never forget, and it will always be there. Alpha Phi Delta has a special place in my heart, and I have met many amazing friends through it.

For example, my big bro Robert Pyane is the strongest man alive. Well, that’s something he would say. Antonio Fotino is the only 5-foot man I know who could take on seven grown men at once and walk away with out a scratch. Guanluca Sorisi, well he just likes to build stuff, he’d tell you. Last but not least, Branden Mcdainal is the smoothest redneck alive. It’s guys like this that make joining the best fraternity in the world so worth it.

Try New Things!

For the longest time at school I felt as if something was missing. I wanted to try something new. My pledge brother Dave and his girlfriend are religious, so I asked them if they wouldn’t mind teaching me about the Bible. Now, I’m not going to preach because I myself have no idea what I believe in, but I do believe in a higher power.

Like I was saying, I asked them about teaching me, and they agreed. Now, every Monday and Tuesday, Tessa, Dave and I go to Bible study to learn about what religion is and who is God. It’s simple things like this that keep you happy and in good spirits. It’s different from person to person.

School is not just about school…it’s the time where you learn how to become a better you and learn what makes you happy. What makes me happy is my girlfriend, Alpha Phi Delta, and building things with tools and wood. When you think about it, those four things are the ways to show you what makes you, you.



Change Makes the Campus Go Round

Sep 23, 2014 | Author: Luis De Leon

People tend to get comfortable with the status quo, but change happens all the time. Change is the reason life in 2014 is so awesome (and I’ll just assume the History Department will agree with me on this one). Change is natural, inevitable and hopefully it’s not as scary as you think.

For example, think about life when you first arrived at UC. For most of us, it’s the first taste of independence and therefore, the most freedom we’ve ever had. Living on campus probably means you’re far from home, so you left old friends and family to start all over again in a new environment.

So now you’ve been on campus for a while. Whether a while means a few weeks or a few years, Utica College has gone through quite a few changes as well. Sometimes we don’t notice because it can seem trivial in the moment. We might be too busy thinking about the cute girl (or guy) in our class and when that next paper is due. There’s nothing wrong with that, but smaller changes have a compound effect over time, and then you realize life on campus really has changed.

Alumni of the past decade, for example, witnessed the ECJS Building and Romano Hall go up. Some of us will be fortunate enough to see some very big changes, such as the forever-wished-for addition of the dome.

This is what the dome (beyond Gaetano Stadium) would look like walking from Parking Lot J.

If you’re new to the UC community, just know that a few years from now, the campus will look and feel different. As a fifth-year senior, UC has changed a lot. But it only makes sense, right? Our motto is Never Stand Still, after all.

This whole change thing is probably easiest to explain if I paint a picture of what life was like when I was a freshman. It was Fall of 2010, and I was looking extra fresh with my lanyard and the blue UC Class of 2014 shirt (time flies because it’s crazy to think the new shirts say 2018…).

Anyway, the following is a list of random things that have changed since my first semester at UC:

My hair. Two afros in four years that I grew out for a whole semester each time. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel like doing that again, but at least it was fun while it lasted.

No Wi-Fi in your room. Can you imagine that? Only the main lounges of the Residence Halls had Wi-Fi, at best. Unless you had a data plan on your smartphone, the only way you could access the Internet from your room was by plugging an ethernet cable into your laptop or video game console. I still had a dumbphone at this point, but the coolest thing out at the time was the iPhone 4. Bell Hall was the first to receive Wi-Fi in Spring 2011. By Fall 2011, all of the rooms on campus had Wi-Fi.

iPads were a new thing in Spring 2010, by the way.

R.I.P. Mellow Moose. Mellow Moose was the coolest place on campus, but it no longer exists. The new Campus Safety Office used to be a coffee house that was basically a mini-Tramontane Cafe (highly recommended place, FYI). The atmosphere was quiet enough to study, but also comfortable and laid back enough to hang out.

Even though it was right in the middle of campus, Mellow Moose had such a distinct energy to it that it felt like you were off campus. At one point, Mellow Moose sold milkshakes, bagels, halfmoon cookies, brownies and other goodies. Mellow Moose was the place for open mics, board games, group meetings and other small-scale events.

Students worked there and you could use your declining balance to buy snacks. Unfortunately, the College felt that the space was seldom used and decided to close Mellow Moose down. It tried to make a return as an arcade room, but that flopped.

Common Grounds. That’s right. This was under construction in Fall 2010. I always wondered what the construction in the library was all about back then. I’m not much of a coffee person, but Common Grounds is clutch, especially during Finals Week. Now that I think about it, the launch of Common Grounds made Mellow Moose a redundant business. I still miss that Mellow Moose atmosphere, though. So chill. Anyway, the only gripe against Common Grounds is that it could stay open an hour or two later on weekdays.

Track & Field facilities. It’s awesome when hockey players go off campus to practice, especially after the $1 million makeover courtesy of the Utica Comets. When track has to go off campus, it sucks. Although the campus still awaits a track, UC took a step in the right direction in building an outdoor throwing and jumping facility in 2011. Soon enough, track & field athletes will have everything they need on campus. In all honesty, it’s crazy how good the track & field teams have been considering the lack of facilities the program has dealt with.

UC throwing and jumping facility near the baseball field.

Campus Safety. Wayne, Bruce, Rick and those golf carts have been here forever. Now that I’m actually thinking about it, the Officers enjoyed a small change to their uniform last year. Campus Safety Officers get to wear short sleeves during summer months, which we all know lasts about 48 hours a year.

Themed Housing was new. If I remember correctly, the only themed housing that existed my freshman year was Health & Wellness and the Global Village. In Fall 2011, the Global Village was in Tower Hall, and after that, it has stayed in Boehlert. Residence Life once had themed housing in Alumni Hall. Once. Now, most of the themed floors are in South Hall, such as UDiscover and UBalance.

Dining was different. There was no such thing as the sandwich line. The way you’d make sandwiches on the weekend was how you made them every day back in Fall 2010. The sandwich line used to be the “Fresh & Healthy” station, where you could have custom orders of stir fried food every day. The dining services were provided by Aramark, a company UC had partnered with for over 30 years. Honestly, the stir fry was the only highlight in the Dining Commons, which is why Sodexo took over in Spring 2011. Hiring Sodexo has been one of the best things the administration has done in the time I’ve been here.


The return of the Pioneer Pub. Before Fall 2011, there had been no campus pub for 26 years! The area where the pub is was an empty corner with a pool table that nobody used. On the bright side, back then you could actually use the back door to Pio. That was really convenient if you were coming from the Athletic Center, the fields or the Residence Halls. As a result, the back door was probably used more often than the front door. Without a liquor license, Sodexo couldn’t sell any alcohol. In other words, Fall 2011 was the semester of free booze on campus. Too bad I wasn’t 21 at the time… Anyway, way to take one for the team, Sodexo.

If you saw how Pio looked before this, you’d appreciate this beauty right here.

Speaking of Pio… The renovation to all of Pio was very much needed. There were no TVs and no booth seating. Renovating Pio, an important hangout spot on campus, was definitely a wise move by UC. The electronic menus that were added this past summer is also a nice touch. I just have one request: can we please keep Subway open until 11 p.m. every day?

Other renovations and changes worth mentioning. Gordon Science Center. Most of the Residence Halls. The library. The trading room with a live stock ticker. The canopy atop the pressbox. The transition to Google from Sun Microsystems. The new stadium turf… I can go on, but you get my point.

The people. The most interesting changes, in my humble opinion, happen to be the people on our campus. Hopefully, one day you will wake up as a senior and realize you’re not the same person who walked around campus for the first time with fresh lanyards.

Many people come and go. Mistakes are made and lessons are learned. People you never saw or spoke to during your freshman year might be your best friends at Commencement. A lot will change during your time at Utica College, mostly for the better. Just know that you as a person will grow and change with each footstep you take on this ever-changing campus.


Sep 22, 2014 | Author: Nayary Rosario

One of my teachers is currently teaching my class about ghosts. This topic made me think a lot. There is obviously two sides in believing in ghosts, either you do or you do not believe in them. In my perspective I have heard a lot of stories of people who have seen ghosts and the topic overall for me is just so interesting. Those who do not believe in ghosts make me double think things. For some of you this might sound crazy, but I do believe in ghosts. I believe in everything being possible. Some of you might think “Wow, that does not make sense” but I have experienced things that are inexplainable to life.ghost

For instance, when I was about 10 years old my cousin was acting really strange. They had him tied up in a bed and his eyes were bloodshot. I was confused at the time as to why he was the way he was, but I assumed he was really sick. Later on I saw how two priests came into the room with another man and both priests had a bible and other stuff in their hands that I really could not tell the difference. My uncle told me to go play by the river and me loving the river I did as told and went with one of my other cousins. As I grew older I was told that he was supposedly possessed . Which thinking about it now gives me chills. I love my cousin and I am happy he overcame that experience.exorcism

Apart from that, something that happened to me was one night I was sleeping in my living room and as I was sleeping, I decided to turn to my left side because I was tired of being on my right side. As I tried to turn sides I notice that I couldn’t move. I could not move anything at all! I couldn’t move my legs, arms, head, or the rest of my body. The only thing I was able to move were my eyes. I was looking from side to side in the dark, confused as to why I was not able to move. I lasted a couple minutes like that and I started to immediately get scared. As I tried opening my mouth, it opened really slowly, and as I was ready to scream not a single word came out. I could not talk. I could not scream for help or do anything but lay there and look around. I then started yelling in my head, praying, and crying and on the outside I did not shed a single tear. All of a sudden my body slammed and turn to the left side I was so scared. It felt like somebody had control over my body. The next day I told people and they told me that is known as sleep paralysis. Sleep paralysis is known to be when a person is sleeping and is unable to move. Many have said that this happens due to a ghost holding you down in your sleep. Which is scary to think about. The good thing about this is that it only happens once in a persons lifetime. Therefore, I have no worries of being scared like that again.


4 Things to Remember When You Feel Lost & Stressed

Sep 22, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

Stress is such an unhealthy reaction for your body.

It’s exhausting and just fills our minds with a bunch of unnecessary, negative thoughts. It makes us feel like absolute crap, and causes us to be in over our heads. We feel disjointed, lost, confused, overwhelmed, and we forget who we are.


We weren’t made to feel like that, yet we all experience situations that completely stress us out and we really don’t know how to properly handle them. When that happens, we have to remember these key points:

1. Prayer


I am rooted in Faith. I was raised that way, and I will always stay that way. One of my all time favorite verses is “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13. It reminds me that I’m a pretty strong person and truly can handle anything that life brings my way. It also reminds me that I am equipped with the right amount of strength, courage and confidence, even on my worst days. I find so much comfort and peace through Prayer, and I truly advise everyone to at least give it a try. :)

2. Circle of Influence

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This past summer was so incredibly stressful for my family. Honestly, I don’t ever remember feeling so overwhelmed. Luckily for me, I had such an amazing and supportive friend who I counted on to keep me calm and logical. During that time, she told me about my circle of influence. In other words….

  • What can I control?
  • What is in my circle of influence?

The answer? Myself. The only thing I have control over is myself, my attitude, my reactions. Anything outside of that, I can’t control, so why stress? It sounds pretty obvious, but it’s so easy to forget and feel like you have to control everything.  Remembering this actually helped me get past those rough times.

The point: Although you may not be able to control the situation, when you realize that you CAN control your response, your attitude toward it, things will seem much easier to handle.

3. Reach Out.


Having a solid support system in times of turmoil and stress is so crucial. Reach out and grab a friend, a family member, anyone that you trust and know will be there to listen. Remember, you don’t need a whole network of people. Sometimes, too many opinions can cause even more stress. Stick with one, or two.

4. Laughter IS the Best Medicine!


I think this is the easiest point to forget when we’re stressed….at least, it is for me. Whenever life gives me more than I can handle, I try to relax and unwind with some humor. Put on your favorite TV show, be around people who make you smile and laugh. It’s been proven that laughter actually reduces your stress level.

Allow me to introduce myself

Sep 22, 2014 | Author: Kenari Flowers

Hello All!

My name is Kenari, I’m a junior here at UC. I plan to be a lawyer in the future, right now I’m studying risk management and insurance with a minor in journalism. I am currently the president of two organizations on campus, the Residence Hall Association and the Prelaw Society. I am also the vice president of the Student Government and the public relations director for Prestige Step Team. It doesn’t end there… I am also the yearbook events photographer and a student tutor. Staying busy isn’t even the word, I also work at the local mall here in Utica. Time management is key; it’s how I juggle my schedule and maintain my grades.

I am currently a commuter, but it’s just like living on campus. It helps that my house is the same distance to the academic buildings as the halls are. My family resides in Syracuse, N.Y., about a thirty minute drive from Utica, which is the perfect distance for freedom and still close enough to run home when I need a break.

There is a little insight about me; I will tell more as time goes on when needed or if it benefits my post. To hear more from me follow me on Twitter at Kenari_uc. I promise not to disappoint!

Until next time…



Keeping it Clean!

Sep 22, 2014 | Author: Tessa Lamper

messy_room_by_iamderek-d37sb10I am sure that everyone has gone (or is going) through the scenario depicted in the picture above. Being in college there is a lot to think about, like homework, class, eating, friend time, relationship time, sports, working out, clubs, activities, Netflix. You get the picture. One thing that is at the back of most minds (or at least mine) is keeping a clean room! Living at college means that Mom is not around to tell you when your room is too messy or smells, and she is not around to do your laundry! Because of this, many dorm rooms that you may enter deserve “Caution Only” signs. Here are some tips in order to maintain a clean and fresh smelling room so you do not become the Pigpen of UC!


1. Do your laundry at least once a week! Look over your schedule and make a designated time (or times) that you will be available to do your laundry. If you are an athlete, work out, or are in gross anatomy (like me!), remember that your clothes will really stink up your room so try and wash your really smelly stuff ASAP! Also, remember to fold and hang up your clothes right away so they do not become a part of the dirty pile!

2. Another tip in regards to clothing is to buy some dryer sheets and just leave a few in your clothing drawers and closet, it will keep your clothes really smelling fresh!

3. Buy a cheap broom and dustpan at Five Below! Cleaning the floors is really important especially when it becomes rainy, snowy and muddy. You can get cheap brooms and dustpans for five dollars! Another really good investment is a Swiffer with the wet wipes. It really cleans up the mud and leaves my room smelling like home.

4. Remember to take out the trash for goodness sake! Use a garbage bag or even a plastic grocery bag as a liner in your garbage and take it out a couple times a week (or as needed). If you are throwing food out, just take the couple extra steps and throw it in the garbage cans in the hall. That way, your room will not smell like it and you will not be finding ants or fruit flies in your room. (I threw out a banana once and the next morning fruit flies invaded my room, ICK!!!)

5. Since we are unable to have candles, I have found a few other ways to keep a fresh scented room. One way is by simply getting Febreze to spray or a couple Renuzit fresheners to lay around your desk. Something else you can try is put a couple dryer sheets on the window sill with the window open and the breeze will catch the scent of the dryer sheets. Something else I really enjoy is my moose! I received a “Scentsy” moose for Christmas and it is really the best thing for any college student! It’s a stuffed moose (moose for Utica of course) that has a little pocket in his back that you can put a little Scentsy pack of your choice in. It is a cute and simple way to get your room to smell the way you want, without the flame of a candle. (Check out the Scentsy website, there are other animals to choose from besides the moose and other ways to “Scent up” your room!)


RELAX- You Are Exactly A-OK

Sep 21, 2014 | Author: Elaine Paravati

  If you’re reading this right now, you are exactly where you are supposed to be, doing exactly what you are supposed to do, with exactly who you are supposed to be with.

  Take a deep breath in. Now let it out.

  You are doing excellent. You are, in this moment, exactly who you are meant to be.

  So many college students experience anxiety, and for good reason. You’re in an unfamiliar place full of unknown people. You are faced with a newfound freedom, independence, and responsibility all at once. It can be nerve-racking to try to figure your life out when you’re still trying to figure yourself out!

  However, it’s important to take each moment to recognize how much you have accomplished. You have an endless amount of opportunities every day to do something great. Whether that is acing a test, cheering up a friend, wearing a really cute scarf, writing a brilliant paper, smiling at a stranger, picking up a piece of litter, or enjoying singing along to a song on the radio, every day can be special because of something you do. It’s hard to stay optimistic and feel like you have the potential to make a positive impact on the world when you’re amid the whirlwind of college, but focusing on little moments can help you refocus on the good in the world around you and the good within you that you spread to others. Trust yourself, and trust that you are on the right path and more than capable of anything life throws your way. Though things may not always seem easy, if you keep your head up and your heart open, I promise you will always find something to be happy about.

  So relax, friends.

  Everything is A-OK.

Did you say “Nap Time?”

Sep 20, 2014 | Author: Courtney Hryniowski

When we were younger and someone told us that it was “nap time,” we weren’t having it. If someone were to say that now, we would be the first one to volunteer. I wasn’t big on napping until I came to college but after my first semester here, I realized napping was a necessity.

Do you ever wake up from a nap feeling groggy or cranky? I know I do sometimes! That may be because you are taking too short or too long of a nap. Here are five different types of naps that may help you avoid feeling that way:

The Power Nap (10-20 minutes): Best for getting straight back to work.

The NASA Nap (26 minutes): proven by scientists to improve pilot performance by 34% and alertness by 54%.

The Bad Nap (30 minutes): Causes sleep inertia, also known as a sleep hangover, for up to 30 minutes before restorative benefits kick in. Best to avoid, if possible.

The Slow-Wave Sleep Nap (60 minutes): Helps cognitive memory processing, remembering places, faces, and facts. Best before a big presentation or important meeting.

The Full Sleep Cycle Nap (90 minutes): Helps creativity, emotional memory, and procedural memory. Best before an impending project deadline or big test


Here are some other valuable tips about napping:

IDEAL NAP TIME: 1:00pm to 4:00pm

IDEAL NAP LIGHT: Dim to dark to stimulate melatonin.


IDEAL NAP POSITION: Slightly upright to avoid deep sleep


Make sure you are giving some time to yourself every day, whether it be a nap or just a few minutes to recoup!

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